Family and friends will gather this Saturday to celebrate the life of Henry “Hank” Matthew Ercolini, born October 8, 1923 in Seattle, died August 28, 2014 in Salem, Oregon, with many years in West Seattle along the way. Here’s the remembrance we were asked to share:
Hank was the oldest of the 3 boys of Joe and Julia Ercolini, a husband to Gertrude “Gertie” Ercolini for 65 years, a father of 4, father-in-law, devoted grandfather (Pop) and great-grandfather, an uncle, cousin, a devoted friend, a 1941 West Seattle High School graduate, a WWII Marine veteran, a 1948 Willamette University graduate, a math & history teacher, coach, junior high principal, referee, a world traveler, a long-time member of Queen of Peace church, a Beaver and Bearcat fan, a cribbage teacher, a landscaper by hobby, an avid golfer, a Meals on Wheels delivery boy, a favorite neighbor, a Susan G. Komen supporter, and a great friend to many.
He will be remembered for his kindness, generosity, and the joy he shared with everyone who knew him. He will be dearly missed. He is survived by three of his children and their spouses: Joan Ercolini (Bend, OR), Lisa & Rod Noteboom (Moses Lake, WA), Steve & Betsy Ercolini (Seattle); his four grandchildren: Tom Watson and wife Jodie, Anne Watson, Angela Fernandez and husband Paul, and Daniel Noteboom; his great grandsons Eamon Watson and Eli Fernandez; and Tom and Anne’s father Steve Watson. He is also survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Joe and Julia Ercolini, his brothers Edward and James Ercolini, his first daughter Julie Watson, and his wife Gertie.
A celebration of Hank’s life will be held at Capital Manor (in Salem, OR), Saturday, September 20th, at 1:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, or the charity of your choice. Arrangements are by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.
(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
A gathering is planned at a Gatewood home tomorrow to celebrate the life of James M. Novello. His family shares this remembrance:
James Michael Novello, born to James and Alvera Novello on June 19th, 1945, passed at his home on September 6th, 2014 – beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, son, brother, and uncle.
James was born in Whitestone, New York, where he graduated from Holy Cross High School. He served as a Chaplain Assistant in Hanau, Germany, while in the United States Army.
James made a home for him and his family in Washington State, where he served with the Anacortes Police Department. He would later work for Fritz Trucking Company in Auburn, where he worked until he retired.
James loved his family, friends, and neighbors, but home is where the heart is, he loved spending time with his 4-legged friends. Other memorable times would be his yearly trips to the Washington coast or game night with family, friends, and neighbors. He loved his Seattle sports teams and Neil Diamond.
James is survived by his wife Debby Novello; dad James Novello, New York; sister Linda (Ray) Riso, New York; children: Richard (Heidi) Novello, James (Monica) Novello, Kimberly (Paul) Bahnmiller, Michael (Terri) Novello; grandchildren: Shawna Murray, Nickolaus (Erin) Novello, Zackary Novello, Carson Novello, Brittany Novello, Vinny Novello, Gabrielle Novello, Cecelia Novello, Giovanni Novello, Zachary Myers, Jacob Myers, Alexis Novello, and Anthony Novello; great-grandchild Aiden Plumley.
Celebration of life will be held at the home of James and Deborah Novello on September 11th, 2014, at 2 pm at 3926 SW Ida Street, West Seattle.
His humor and laughter will be missed.
(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to email@example.com)
Notice the difference? Friends of Morgan Junction Parks, Peace Lutheran volunteers team up for more cleanup, restorationSeptember 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks, West Seattle people | 4 Comments
Another Morgan Junction-area public space is in better shape tonight because of hard work by community volunteers. Thanks to Barry for the photos and report:
A delegation from Peace Lutheran Church again joined Friends of Morgan Junction Parks on a neighborhood cleanup effort. The two groups put in a solid shift on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the SDOT property on the corner of Fauntleroy and Juneau, where restoration work was begun last fall. The two groups have also been restoring the triangle property next to the Thriftway in Morgan Junction.
Tall, thick weeds had taken over the parking strip at the Juneau site. These were removed, in addition to a lot of dead wood on trees and plants in the interior. We’ll return later in the fall to add some new plants to the parking strip area.
You can connect with Friends of Morgan Junction Parks via its Facebook page.
(Photo courtesy Free2Luv)
With both the Seahawks‘ season and the school year starting, an anti-bullying campaign is launching with a West Seattle-based nonprofit at the heart of it. On the lower right of the billboard in the photo, you’ll see FREE2LUV.ORG – the online home of Free2Luv, which is leading the “Friends Don’t Let Friends Bully” campaign. The photo and announcement (read the full version here) were shared by Free2Luv president/co-founder Tonya Sandis of Alki. Donated billboard space is part of it; the first one, Tonya says, is at 4th Avenue South and South Industrial Way, just a few blocks south of the West Seattle Bridge (map): “With the rise in teen suicides and one out of every three children experiencing some form of bullying, it is Free2Luv’s mission to reach as many communities and children as possible to spread the word Friends Don’t Let Friends Bully. … We are passionate about creating a safer and kinder place for our youth, raising self-esteem and re-instilling hope.” Free2Luv says more than 19,000 people have taken their anti-bullying pledge; you can join them here.
By Kezia Willingham
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
As the sold-out PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) gaming convention starts today downtown, West Seattleite Bijhan Valibeigi will be there, launching a new product in her multimedia “Time Wars” franchise: A strategy card game.
She e-mailed WSB about the launch, explaining that “Time Wars: Supreme Command” is “the world’s first deck-stacking game, where you actively try to stack your own deck in your favor, while also trying to control the flow of your opponent’s deck.”
The format isn’t all that’s groundbreaking about “Time Wars: Supreme Command.”
Bijhan and I met at Meeples Games, the new business at California/Charlestown that not only sells games, but is also a place where you can sit down and play them in a relaxed atmosphere, with a café and a library where you can try out games before purchasing them.
Bijhan created “Time Wars” based on her experience as a game lover who missed seeing accurate representations of both her ethnicity and gender orientation – she describes herself as a “queer genderless Persian-American nerd” – in the games she loved. She wanted to see more diversity in the characters and their experiences.
Congratulations to another West Seattleite for an amazing accomplishment – a high-elevation challenge completed by Martin de Vrieze recently in Colorado. Francine Stroud shares the story and photo:
Martin de Vrieze, a 20-year West Seattle resident, recently ran the Leadville 100 “Race Across the Sky.” This race is 100 miles of extreme Colorado Rockies terrain. The race spans elevations between 9200 feet up to 12,600 feet, and has a total elevation gain of 18,168 feet. The race must be completed in 30 hours or less. Generally, only one half of the runners that start are able to finish the race. This year there were 612 starters and only 351 finishers. The race begins at 4:00 AM in the dark and for Martin ended at dawn the following morning. Martin finished in 25 hrs. 43 mins. 48 secs. He came in 25th in his age group and 93rd overall. We are very proud of him.
Followup: West Seattle Senior Center hires ousted director as consultant, ‘evaluates relationship’ with Senior ServicesAugust 25, 2014 at 11:15 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 8 Comments
Karen Sisson is back at the Senior Center of West Seattle – as a consultant.
As first reported here July 14, after 25 years as center director, Sisson was fired by Senior Services, the citywide nonprofit that provides staffing to centers including West Seattle, after sending an e-mail that expressed concern over possible operational changes SS was reported to be considering. SS would not comment on the reason for Sisson’s ouster, but multiple sources attributed it to the e-mail.
Now, the Senior Center’s board – which operates independently of Senior Services and its board – has hired Sisson as a consultant, and is demanding that SS reinstate her as center director. From board president David Robertson:
The Senior Center of West Seattle unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing Karen Sisson as Center Director and expressing its lack of confidence in Paula Houston, the Agency Director of Senior Services. A copy of the resolution is attached:
The Senior Center of West Seattle has hired Karen Sisson as a consultant to assist the Board in dealing with financial matters of the Senior Center of West Seattle as the Senior Center evaluates its relationship with Senior Services.
Unlike most of the Seattle senior centers that are staffed through Senior Services, the West Seattle center owns its own building. In addition to the board resolution, Sisson’s firing also has sparked a community outcry, including a petition drive, and an earlier board “vote of confidence” in her work. Sisson herself hasn’t commented directly on her firing but told WSB she appreciates the messages of support.
(WSB photos by Katie Meyer)
The “soapbox race” downtown wasn’t the only one in Seattle today – Beverly invited us to check out the one that happened in her North Admiral neighborhood this afternoon/evening as part of its annual block party.
She explained in the invitation, “We neighbors around College between Walnut and 41st Ave. SW have an annual block party the second to last weekend in August each year” – and much of it is headquartered in her home’s front yard. “There are a lot of kids in the neighborhood, so this year we decided to have a soapbox derby!” In the photo below, that’s Beverly’s son Asa in the striped shirt on the right; he designed the cart with Tinkercad.
The derby featured kids of all ages – here’s 3-year-old Reider and 1-year-old brother Hudson:
Whatever the cart design – the neighborhood derby featured human-powered transportation at its finest! Some of it, animal-inspired:
Thanks to Beverly for letting us know about the derby so we could stop by. Something cool happening in YOUR neighborhood? Here’s how to reach us.
Congratulations to West Seattle athlete Tom Donohue for his victories at the USA Cycling National Track Championships, which continue through tomorrow on the Eastside. The report and photos are by proud wife Lisa Donohue:
Fauntleroy resident Tom Donohue earned his 2nd Gold medal Saturday at the USA Cycling National Track Championships at Marymoor Velodrome in Redmond. Tom slayed the competition in both the Match Sprint and 500m Time Trial 50-54 year-old category. In addition, he also set a new track record in the 500m.
Tom is a member of the Cucina Fresca cycling team. You might spot him sprinting along the streets of West Seattle in his red and black jersey.
Tom will be traveling to the Manchester England for the World Championships this October. Last year he ranked top 10 in World, and hopes to make it to the podium in 2014.
It’s a double celebration tonight at Daystar Retirement Village (WSB sponsor) in Westwood – a barbecue party during which they are celebrating not only summer but also residents’ support for the Senior Center of West Seattle. Last month, Daystar’s Wanda Daudet (above, with SCWS’s Lyle Evans) explains, they sponsored the center’s annual luau, prepared by Daystar chef Kemberli Greco and served to more than 100 attendees, which brought the nonprofit center more than $600. A week later, Daystar’s second annual Senior Summer Camp raised $460 for SCWS, and that’s the check presented during tonight’s barbecue.
Thanks to Philip for pointing this out to us via Twitter – one of the newest celebrity videos in the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS awareness, just published on YouTube today, stars West Seattleite and Pearl Jam leader Eddie Vedder, with the bucket wielded by bandmate Mike McCready. Looks like it was recorded on the West Seattle shoreline, too, as Philip noted in his tweet.
*Alumni Mixer – Friday; August 15th at 7:00 pm*
Maxi’s Lounge at the DoubleTree Hotel
18740 International Blvd; Seattle
*Alumni Spouse/Partner Dinner – Saturday; August 16th at 6:00 pm*
Talarico’s Pizza – West Seattle Junction
4718 California Ave SW
*Family Picnic – Sunday; August 17th at 12:00 noon*
Lincoln Park – Picnic Area near the south parking lot
Next Sunday afternoon (August 17th) at West Seattle Golf Course, a memorial is planned for “Buck” Thompson, whose family shares this remembrance:
Clair Wallace “Buck” Thompson, 83, of Seattle, Washington, passed away on July 14, 2014.
Buck was born in Omaha, Nebraska to Clair and Ethel Thompson. He was a 1950 graduate of West Seattle High School. He went on to earn a degree at Washington State University in Business with a minor in Architectural Small Dwelling Construction graduating in 1954. In his early years, he worked in the hotel and restaurant management business, was a real estate agent selling recreational property in Eastern Washington, and later sold marine supply equipment with Obert Marine Supply. Buck belonged to the Society of Port Engineers of Puget Sound and held the position of President, Chairman of the Board, “Chicken of the Year,” and “Man of the Year”. He enjoyed travel, fishing, sports, and family.
Buck is preceded in death by his parents, Clair and Ethel, and his sister Judith Ann Campbell.
He is survived by his devoted wife Sharon Thompson; sons Paul (Kim) Thompson and Bryce (Eva) Thompson; daughter Dawn (Eric) Hodo; stepson Jamie (Beth) Trigg; stepdaughter Tracy (Mitch) Trotter; eleven grandchildren and several cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A memorial for Buck will be held at the West Seattle Golf Course on Sunday, August 17, at 3:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Medic One, without whose help Buck would never have been able to receive the care he did: Medic One Fire Department, 301 Second Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98104.
(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Do you know “the gray-haired plant lady”? We don’t know her name, but she had a friend forward these photos and reader report expressing appreciation for West Seattle’s individual green spaces, so we are in turn sharing her words and pictures with you, which she sent under the heading ‘West Seattle Loves Green’:
With all the concrete and steel coming into our community, the citizens of West Seattle are creating their own green spaces. Have you noticed all the new plant containers in front of the local stores? The merchants also contributed to the beautiful hanging baskets. Even the new buildings are adding greenery in front of their buildings. In front of the stores you will find pots, boxes and even a wagon.
The old stump on the corner of California and Alaska has been replaced by a tree and a planter. A couple of days ago, I walked both sides of the street from Admiral Way to West Seattle Nursery. I found over 1,000 pots and planters and over 1,000 plantings. I didn’t count all the deck plants and patios.
I have been asked many times if I do the landscape in front of Hope Lutheran Church. A group of people help weed, mow grass and deadhead plants. The Loren Sommer family grows and plants the whole landscape. Loren, Rachel, and Bernadette spend many hours growing and planting. If you see them, say “thank you!” Omar Sommer, grandpa, helps with the watering system.
I just can’t resist adding that I was Loren’s and Rachel’s first-grade teacher.
‘The gray-haired plant lady’
‘Bring Karen Back’ campaign launched by supporters of ousted West Seattle Senior Center director Karen SissonAugust 9, 2014 at 8:57 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 10 Comments
For almost four weeks, we’ve been covering the aftermath of citywide nonprofit Senior Services‘ decision to fire longtime Senior Center of West Seattle director Karen Sisson (WSB file photo at left). While the center has its own board of directors, they don’t have hiring/firing power over staff, but the board voiced their support for her leadership, days after learning of her firing.
Now community supporters are launching a campaign, telling WSB that tomorrow, a community petition drive will kick off to urge Sisson’s reinstatement. Volunteers are gathering at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market at 10:30 am Sunday to ‘share information and collect signatures and support for bringing back Karen Sisson as director of the Senior Center of West Seattle,” according to a note we received today from Cindy, who adds, “Any volunteers are welcome to join us. We are also setting up a Facebook page, ‘Bring Karen Back,’ for people to start their own petitions and upload information.” That page is here. Sisson led the Senior Center for a quarter-century, with her accomplishments and the center’s growth detailed and celebrated in the center’s newsletter earlier this year.
Meantime, the West Seattle center’s board president David Robertson told WSB this past week that they “continue to work on this issue.”
Would you know human trafficking if you saw it? West Seattle Democratic Women’s awareness campaign continuesAugust 5, 2014 at 10:22 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments
Did you see the signs? West Seattle Democratic Women‘s human-trafficking-awareness campaign is in a new phase with pop-up signage – the sign above was the fifth of six signs displayed Saturday along Harbor Avenue, and you’ll see them again this Thursday, 4-6 pm, on Fauntleroy Way just east of Morgan Junction. Elizabeth Heath, chair of the WSDW campaign, shared the photo and explained that WSDW is displaying the signs “a la the highway ‘Burma Shave’ signs of the past. One message was: Human Trafficking//Near Your Home//Don’t Delay//Pick Up The Phone//For Help, Call 888-3737-888″ – a national hotline to report human trafficking – followed by a sign for WSDW and its website. She adds, “Passersby on foot, on bikes, and in cars showed support by waving, blinking lights, or stopping by to learn more about the issue. You can expect to see these folks and their signs on various busy West Seattle streets over the next six weeks. Here’s a chance to learn more about Human Trafficking and how you can make a difference.” WSDW’s campaign has its own page on the group’s website, here. Not sure you would know human trafficking if you saw it? Some basic info is on this brochure from another local organization, Seattle Against Slavery.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Three weeks ago, we reported on the sudden ouster of the longtime director of the Senior Center of West Seattle, Karen Sisson, news that shocked and saddened many community members – one of whom even picketed.
While the center owns its own building and has its own board of directors, its staff/administration is through the citywide nonprofit Senior Services, which would not comment on the reason for Sisson’s dismissal. Less than a week after her termination, the West Seattle board declared it had voted full confidence in her leadership, and its president Dave Robertson stressed that they were pressing for answers.
We’ve been asked what’s happened since then. Here’s what Robertson told WSB today:
As board President of the West Seattle Senior Center, I would like to thank the West Seattle community for its support to the Senior Center and to Karen Sisson. The Board of Directors of West Seattle Senior Center is hopeful that it will be able to amicably resolve issues with Senior Services, and in the meantime, the Senior Center does not want to lose Karen’s talents and experience in helping seniors in West Seattle.
The Senior Center has been an integral part of the West Seattle community for 40 years, and Karen has been Center Director for more than 25 of those years. Karen’s dedication to seniors and to the Center is without question. Her work is phenomenal. As we continue to work on this issue, we thank you for your support and patience.
Since our last followup, we also made contact with Karen Sisson, who had her own words of thanks:
I have so appreciated the support from the community, it is overwhelming to me.
I am also overwhelmed with the loss of my job, working to better the world of seniors in West Seattle. I have always loved my work, the connection to the community and with the seniors individually. It is so rewarding to see what staff can do to change the course of their world.
Above all, I would ask that the community continue to support the Center and its staff during this transition period. Your support of the Center is the only reason it has been so successful. The West Seattle board is strong and has strong leadership under David Robertson, and Nancy Sorensen who actually used to be president of the SS board. They have some very hard decisions to make and i wish them well in that process.
In the meantime, I will volunteer for Aylene the Stop n’ Shop manager, and assist the board should they request.
While neither Senior Services nor Sisson elaborated on the reason given for letting her go, Robertson said in his first public statement that it had to do with an e-mail.
The latest tale of West Seattle kids’ summer creativity is courtesy of Meighan. When she e-mailed to let us know about this, we were in the middle of covering breaking news – but we suggested perhaps a wrap-up report could be made available later. She obliged:
Who doesn’t like a tall glass of lemonade on a hot day? Combine that with a Unicorn and what could be better?
Four budding, local entrepreneurs, Brendan, Cashen, Catie, and Sabin, hit the streets Thursday at the corner of Stevens and 45th to realize their vision of the next generation of lemonade stands. The Mini Mart. The Candy Unicorn Mini Mart, no less.
They strategized about the venture for days. They took out a small business loan from Brendan and Catie’s nanny for $11, and convinced her to take them to the local Safeway to procure materials.
They scoped out a location a few block from both of their houses. They meticulously planned each detail. Pricing, signage, and unique combo meals of pretzels, cookies and lemonade. The night before the opening, they confided to their parents, that if all went as planned they would end up on the West Seattle Blog. These kids dream big.
They opened up shop and thirsty west-siders flocked to the stand, many of which were on the way to the hot Caspar Babypants concert at Hiawatha. Their hard work paid off with a 10x return on investment.
When we asked the young entrepreneurs about whether this was a one-time gig, they responded, “No, definitely not, we will open shop again on random days, at random times at the same location.” So keep a look out for the Candy Unicorn Mini Mart.
Moral of the story? A lemonade stand is never “just” a lemonade stand.
A memorial service is planned this Saturday morning (August 2nd) for longtime West Seattleite Betty Broughton, who died Monday at age 85. Her family shares this remembrance:
Betty Lee Marks Broughton was born on February 18, 1929 in Missoula, Montana to Cleve and Ora Marks.
Her early childhood was spent on a 10,000-acre working family ranch in Townsend, Montana where both of her parents were born. She attended first grade at a mining camp in York, Montana where her father found work. She has two younger brothers, James and Michael, who were also born in Montana.
After the mine closed, the family moved to Helena, Montana where her father went to work for the Social Security Dept. In 1941, when she was 12 years old, the family moved to Seattle where her father went to work at Todd Shipyards building boats for the US Navy during WWII. She attended 7th grade at Beacon Hill Grade School and when the High Point Housing Projects were completed for the WWII industrial workers, her family moved there. Every day she walked to the Cooper School where she attended eighth grade. It was there she developed several lifelong friendships with her classmates, who still gather every Wednesday for dinner at the Chelan Cafe in West Seattle.
When her father’s next job took him to Everett, she stayed with Harold and Pearl Broughton, who lived a block from West Seattle High School, where she attended 9th grade until she graduated in 1947. After school and on Saturdays, she took the bus downtown for her part-time job at Frederick & Nelson, and gave the money she made to her host family. After graduation, she married Harold and Pearl’s son, Charles “Bud” Broughton, who had also graduated from West Seattle High School. In 1949, they bought their home on 47th Avenue where she raised her four children who graduated from WSHS: Tim in ‘66, Mary in ‘69, Joyce in ‘70, and LeeAnn in ‘72.
Midway through her summer between leaving Denny International Middle School and entering Chief Sealth International High School, 14-year-old Jasmine Smith has achieved something big – winning the “Spell It Like It Is” competition at a national summit for youth mentors.
The news comes from Denny principal Jeff Clark and from mentoring leaders Hazel Cameron and Donald Cameron from the 4C Coalition. They took a group of six youth, two mentors, and two parents to Orlando, Florida July 18th-21st for the National Alliance of Faith and Justice‘s 6th annual “Take a Stand to Keep a Seat” National Youth Mentoring Training Summit, held in collaboration with the 41st Annual Conference and Training Institute of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice.
The official announcement explains that, “This summit/conference and training institute officially launched a multi-year national collaborative focus on the cooperation of law enforcement, incarcerated parents, mentors, and youthful stakeholders in reducing the ‘school to prison’ pipeline from America’s classrooms, particularly for African American males.” A key focus is preventing summertime “learning losses” when school is out, and that has led to the Pen Or Pencil Movement (POP). Jasmine studied for the “Spell It Like It Is” spelling competition as part of POP. Last year’s national winner was also from Seattle and also a 4C mentee, Rainier Beach High School student Savannah Bell. Congratulations to 4C, its mentees, and mentors!
UPDATE 9:45 PM: As detailed in comments below this story, Albert has been found – thanks to everyone who helped!
ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:58 PM: Albert is missing – and his brother asked us to get the word out:
My 33 year old brother is mentally unstable and likely in the West Seattle area. He was staying at Transitional Resources (2970 SW Avalon Way), but ran out early this morning (the staff thinks between 5-8 am). He does not have a car, cell phone, or wallet, so he is probably wandering around on foot. He is likely in a disoriented state from insomnia. He is of Asian descent, has some facial hair, and wears glasses. If anyone sees him, please contact me by phone (650-387-0738) or email (email@example.com).
Or, call police.
How local teens spent part of their summer: Rebuilding a custom vintage motorcycle with MISSIONmoto, SW Youth & Family ServicesJuly 25, 2014 at 1:45 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 10 Comments
Program names go by … say, the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative … but we don’t often see/hear the results of activities related to those programs. Here, for a change, is a result. In the photo is Terry, one of the participants in a SYVPI project that led to the teardown and rebuild of that custom vintage motorcycle over the course of a 10-week after-school (etc.) project. He did it with MISSIONmoto, a nonprofit “motorcycle ministry” with garage space near Morgan Junction, which invited youth from the SYVPI program at North Delridge-based Southwest Youth and Family Services to “do a complete teardown and rebuild of a custom vintage motorcycle” – a 1973 Honda CB750K, to be precise. It was a pilot partnership, MISSIONmoto explains; we photographed Terry and the motorcycle at a celebratory barbecue held Thursday afternoon at SWYFS.
Followup: Mayor tells police to stand down in post-foreclosure West Seattle eviction case of Byron and Jean BartonJuly 21, 2014 at 8:51 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, West Seattle politics | 79 Comments
(Friday photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand: Above, deputies carrying Byron Barton from his home)
New development today in a West Seattle family’s quest to stay in their foreclosed-on-and-auctioned-off home. On Friday, we chronicled a day of tumultuous activity at the 41st/Holly home of disabled veteran Byron Barton and wife Jean Barton, a day that started with King County Sheriff’s Office reps removing them from the house, which they then defiantly re-entered, continuing to keep vigil with local activists. That evening, Seattle Police and the local City Attorney’s Office precinct liaison arrived, but ultimately left after concluding nothing would be done that night.
(Friday evening WSB photo)
This morning, the activists went to City Hall to ask the mayor and council to tell SPD to stand down – several also spoke during open-comment time at this afternoon’s City Council meeting – and this evening, Mayor Murray sent this statement:
We are attempting to understand all options that may exist in this situation and I have asked Chief O’Toole and the Seattle Police Department to stand by while the latest court proceedings unwind.
An interdepartmental team has been working on the issue of foreclosure and how the City of Seattle can proactively connect residents to resources early in the process. I’ve pledged the City of Seattle’s participation in the Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness in 2015, and will launch a separate process to address homelessness and increase housing affordability in the months ahead, one of my visions toward making Seattle an affordable city.
“In Washington State, we’ve seen recent victories such as the 2011 Washington State Foreclosure Fairness Act, which I worked on closely, designed to help homeowners and their lenders explore alternatives to foreclosure and reach a resolution when possible. I’m committed to working with all stakeholders, using this and other alternatives in the work Seattle does on housing affordability.”
The City of Seattle and Washington State have resources to help homeowners avoid default and work out repayment plans in order to stay in their homes, or gain enough time to sell their homes on their own terms: http://www.seattle.gov/housing/buying/ForeclosurePrevention.htm and commerce.wa.gov/Programs/housing/Foreclosure/Pages/default.aspx
The Bartons have a lawsuit pending, alleging the foreclosure – which had been in the works at least since 2012, according to court documents we have found so far – was illegal. The development company that bought their house in an April auction has sued for “unlawful detainer” – seeking to have the Bartons removed. The situation that led to foreclosure is complicated; while the house has been in Byron Barton’s family for more than 60 years, changes in the family put it back under a mortgage. P.S. How long this will take to play out in the courts is unknown – the civil system doesn’t always move quickly, and the current trial date for the Bartons’ lawsuit (filed in May) isn’t until June of next year.
TUESDAY MORNING, 9:22 AM: A commenter asked about the Sheriff’s Office role/responsibility at this point. We asked KCSO spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates, who replied:
The eviction was completed and our involvement in serving that eviction order is over.
The legal owners of the house are always able to return to court and get another civil order which would compel our department to act. I’m unaware of any filings or movement on that topic.
Our departments stand is the eviction was completed, anyone reoccupying that house is committing a crime. At least trespass, if not burglary.
It is now up to the local police agency to enforce those crimes.
The controversy over the abrupt firing of the Senior Center of West Seattle‘s longtime director Karen Sisson drew a protester this afternoon. We were in The Junction for something else when we saw Vanessa‘s comment on our followup from last night, saying she was going to go stand on the corner with a sign, so we ran by, and there she was. She says she’ll be there until about 4 pm and will return tomorrow. As first reported here Monday night, Sisson was let go last week by the center’s parent nonprofit, Senior Services, after 25 years; SS wouldn’t comment on why, but the West Seattle center’s board director David Robertson says he was told it was over a widely distributed e-mail voicing concerns about SS’s planned direction for the center, and the board met to take a vote of confidence in Sisson’s leadership. While the center owns its building/property, its employees report to Senior Services, so the board’s future potential path of action isn’t clear at this point.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
SC-WS board president David Robertson had told WSB on Monday that he was awaiting the center’s parent nonprofit Senior Services‘ reply to questions about Sisson’s reported firing by the organization’s CEO Paula Houston.
When we inquired with Senior Services, spokesperson Karen Bystrom would only confirm that Sisson was no longer employed, saying that otherwise, it’s a “personnel matter.” Robertson said he understood it had something to do with an e-mail Sisson had sent “voicing her concerns regarding points brought to (her) attention in the future direction and management of the Senior Center of West Seattle.”
Today, Robertson told WSB that the Senior Center’s board has met to discuss the situation:
The Board of Directors of the Senior Center of West Seattle met in executive session on July 15 to review the termination of Karen Sisson as Center Director.
The Board reviewed the letter of explanation it received from Paula Houston (CEO of Senior Services of Seattle/King County).
The Board also considered the long-term quality of Karen Sisson’s work.
The Board unanimously voted full confidence in Karen Sisson as Center Director.
As President of the West Seattle Center Board, I can assure you, we will continue to pursue this issue and I will keep you updated as appropriate.
Sisson had been with the Senior Center of West Seattle for 25 years. She has not yet commented publicly on what happened.
The center is a nonprofit facility with a budget of more than half a million dollars per year, one of half a dozen operated by Senior Services, and within that, one of two that own their own buildings. Some of the funding for senior centers, including WS, comes from the city budget.
After 25 years, the executive director of the Senior Center of West Seattle, Karen Sisson (WSB file photo at right), is suddenly out. Hearing about this over the weekend, we sought confirmation today from the center’s parent nonprofit, Senior Services of Seattle, and received it from spokesperson Karen Bystrom. She would not discuss the reason, saying it was a personnel matter. But the West Seattle center’s board president David Robertson had more to say, in this statement tonight:
Without knowledge of the Board of Directors of the Senior Center of West Seattle, and without any consultation with Board Members, Karen Sisson was terminated as Executive Director of the Senior Center of West Seattle on Thursday, July 10, 2014.
She was terminated by the CEO of Senior Services of Seattle/King County apparently because Karen sent an email to all staff of Senior Services voicing her concerns regarding points brought to Karen’s attention in the future direction and management of the Senior Center of West Seattle.
I have demanded an explanation by Senior Services of Seattle/King County which I expect by tomorrow evening.
President of the Board of Directors of the Senior Center of West Seattle
Sisson’s achievements as the center’s executive director were detailed in its newsletter earlier this year, including a $3 million capital campaign for renovations and launching popular programs including its Stop ‘n’ Shop store and Rainbow Bingo events. We have not reached her for comment but will be continuing to follow this. Senior Services spokesperson Bystrom told WSB that Lyle Evans is the center’s acting director right now.
Forgot to mention this in the daily-preview list – as announced three weeks ago, the public memorial for Karen Sykes, the West Seattle writer/photographer/hiking expert who died on Mount Rainier last month, is happening tonight. Here’s the most-recent reminder we received:
A public memorial service for outdoors writer Karen Sykes will be held on the evening of July 14 at the Mountaineers Seattle Program Center in Magnuson Park.
As Mountaineers Books Publisher Helen Cherullo reflected, “Washington’s hikers and climbers were Karen’s community. She paid tribute to those who came before her and became a leader in her own right,” adding, “this will be the hiking community’s opportunity to pay tribute to her indomitable strength and joyful spirit.”
Cherullo, who worked with Sykes on the guidebooks Best Wildflower Hikes – Washington and Hidden Hikes in Western Washington, will give remarks at the memorial service. Attendees are invited to share their stories and experiences with each other starting at 6:30 p.m., with the formal program beginning at 7 p.m.
Sykes died from hypothermia while hiking in Mount Rainier National Park in late June. By sharing advice and hidden hikes through her work with Mountaineers Books, The Mountaineers, Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and more, Sykes inspired thousands of people to experience the beauty found in wilderness.
The Seattle Program Center is located at 7700 Sand Point Way NE. The Mountaineers (also) invite those who knew Sykes to share their memories on the Mountaineers website.
Ms. Sykes was 70 years old. She had shared nature photos on WSB, usually via our Flickr group, from time to time, and we published more than three dozen here on the website in the past few years.
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Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
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